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Consultation on Improving Healthy Lifestyles in Gloucestershire

CEO Tinh Phung
Image source: Gloucestershire County Council Living a healthier lifestyle is a goal shared by many individuals. In Gloucestershire, the local council is committed to supporting residents in making positive changes to their health and well-being....

Healthy Lifestyles Service Consultation Image source: Gloucestershire County Council

Living a healthier lifestyle is a goal shared by many individuals. In Gloucestershire, the local council is committed to supporting residents in making positive changes to their health and well-being. To ensure that the support provided meets the specific needs of the community, the council is conducting a review of their Healthy Lifestyles Service. The goal is to assess and enhance the range of services offered to individuals who want to make a lifestyle change.

The Importance of Lifestyle Coaching

Research has consistently shown that structured lifestyle coaching can have a significant impact on individuals seeking to improve their health. The Healthy Lifestyles Service commissioned by the council plays a vital role in supporting individuals who want to quit smoking, achieve a healthier weight, develop healthier drinking habits, become more physically active, or make other changes to improve their overall well-being.

Healthy Lifestyles Service Image source: Gloucestershire County Council

Expanding Support for a Healthier Gloucestershire

As the current contract for the Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Service is set to expire, the council recognizes the opportunity to enhance the support provided. The changing landscape of health and well-being, along with the emergence of new lifestyle support options, necessitates the evolution of the service to better meet the needs of the community.

Addressing Health Inequalities

Gloucestershire faces widening disparities in health and well-being among different communities and groups. Factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living have accentuated these differences, particularly concerning childhood obesity levels in less affluent neighborhoods. The council aims to bridge these gaps and ensure that everyone has access to the same level of support, regardless of their circumstances.

Collaborating with Communities

Recognizing the invaluable contributions of active communities, community groups, and organizations, the council sees an opportunity to work more closely with these groups to enhance lifestyle support. By capitalizing on the strengths, assets, and experiences of individuals and communities, the aim is to develop a service that truly reflects the needs and aspirations of the local population.

Integrating with Existing Services

In addition to the support available within local communities, the NHS now offers a range of free "healthier lifestyles" programs accessible through primary care providers. The council aims to ensure that their Healthy Lifestyles Service is closely integrated with these existing services, providing a seamless experience for individuals seeking support.

Evidence-Based and Continuously Improving

To ensure the effectiveness of the service, the council is committed to an evidence-based approach. By continually learning and improving based on individual and community feedback, the service will evolve to deliver the best possible outcomes for Gloucestershire residents.

Have Your Say

The council values the input of residents, organizations, and stakeholders in shaping the future of the Healthy Lifestyles Service. Conversations have already taken place to gain insights into the support needed for healthier lifestyles. The resounding message has been the importance of working together and leveraging the strengths and experiences of individuals and communities. This principle will guide the development of the council's proposals.

Key Proposals

Building on the feedback received, the council aims to create a service that closes the gap in health and well-being between different communities and groups. The service will be flexible and responsive, providing holistic, person-centered support tailored to individual needs. Emphasizing community collaboration, the service will be developed and embedded within local communities, working hand in hand with community groups and organizations. Integration with other services and continuous learning will be prioritized to ensure the service stays effective and relevant.

Proposed Service Offer

The new Healthy Lifestyles Service for adults could include:

  • One-to-one coaching support for lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, reduced alcohol consumption, or weight loss
  • Specialized stop smoking support with access to nicotine replacement therapy
  • Targeted weight management groups designed in collaboration with individuals and communities facing the greatest barriers to a healthy lifestyle
  • Tailored support for women during pregnancy and up to their child's second birthday
  • Training for community groups and organizations to support residents in living well
  • Information and resources on healthier lifestyles
  • Advice and guidance on further sources of support

To better prioritize resources and provide targeted support where it is most needed, the council proposes decommissioning the "universal" weight management offer currently provided by Slimming World.

Share Your Views

The council invites you to participate in a survey to express your views on the proposed new service. Your feedback will inform the recommendations presented to the council's cabinet, who will consider the commissioning of the new Healthy Lifestyles Service for adults in Gloucestershire.

Please note that the survey has been divided into three separate sections, each targeted at a specific audience: General Public, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organizations, and Public Sector Organizations. While anyone can complete the General Public survey, it is recommended to select the one most relevant to you.

The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

For hard copies of the survey or any additional support, please contact Angelika Areington at [email protected] or call 01452 328605. If posting your questionnaire, please send it to: Healthy Lifestyle Consultation, Public Health, Gloucestershire County Council, Shire Hall, Gloucester GL1 2TG.

-An easy read version of the survey is available for download.

-The consultation closes on Sunday 16 April 2023.

Please note that the survey is anonymous, and no personal information should be shared. If you require immediate support for your health and well-being, please refer to the options provided at the end of the survey.